Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Boulder Colorado Power Bowls

Sometimes on the road I happen upon the most delicious food totally by accident, without even trying! When I was in Boulder, Colorado at a photoshoot, I discovered a great organic smoothie spot right next to the photographer's studio, called Rush, where they happened to make my favourite snack, power bowls! For the uninitiated, these are bowls with a super thick and yummy smoothie on the bottom - my favourite flavour being something with açai berries - and then granola and fresh fruit on top. I was first introduced to them when I was on tour in Hawaii a few years ago, and fell in love with them! They are popping up on menus across the west coast lately, but I don't see them inland like this generally, so I was amazed! Impressed by the eco-friendly nature of the shop, I ran out to the RV to grab my ceramic bowl so they wouldn't have to use a paper bowl, and ate my delicious Beach Bowl (make sure to ask for it without honey if you aren't Bee-gan like me!). My tourmates Bonnie Voyage and Lil' Miss Firefly were so intrigued that they ran in to get their own flavours, and while sitting and eating the super nice owner came over and asked us how we liked the food, and then went in and brought out a few of their really yummy travel packs for us to sample later on the road! What an absolute doll! There is no better way to woo traveling performers than through our stomachs. I saved mine for a few days later, but when I finally tried the vegan Yoga Bowl, I was impressed! No blender needed, just thaw and eat! Luckily for those not in Boulder they sell them at Whole Foods in other Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Kansas cities so check them out!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Des Moines Salad Bar

So this is more about funny things I don't eat than what I do, I just had to take a picture of the awesome 'salad bar' in the otherwise super vegan-friendly Hy-Vee I shopped at in Des Moines, IA. To be fair they had other actual vegetable options in the slightly longer salad bar, but the showpiece was really the foursome of oreo cookie pureé, strawberry fluff, green jelly ambrosia and chocolate mouse that were the centre of the salad bar. Totally awesome, and made me laugh out loud, which to be honest, I really needed that day since I had just had a sad goodbye at the local airport. Being able to stock up on vegan yogurt and various other rarities in the midwest cheered me considerably as well. I actually really love a good ambrosia salad, and think I should try to make some when I get back to Brooklyn with delightfully vegan Sweet and Sara mini-marshmallows!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I love Iowa City!

It's blog update day, sitting around bummed after watching Germany's World Cup defeat.

I'll be honest, my expectations for vegan eats were low the first time I played Iowa City, and it was only by chance that I popped into an unassuming place called Fair Grounds Coffeehouse after my iPhone Maps app showed it in a search I did for the word "vegan". I thought maybe I'd get a soy chai or MAYBE a muffin, but instead I walked into vegan paradise! This place specializes in vegan waffles AND french toast, and makes possibly the greatest soft vegan cheese ever, which I HOPE they start shipping and/or marketing to retail chains like Whole Foods so more people can taste their genius. They also have a case of beautiful baked goods, and even though they have a sign stating it's all vegan, I still had to ask because it looked so good! I'm that annoying vegan, sorry. So this time around, I had to have a redo of my first meal, but after realizing I could have dinner there AND brunch the next day, my friend advised me to try something different first so if it failed to impress I could have my favourite the next day. I love eating with another foodie, who can help me eat strategically! Haha!
SO, I ordered from their brilliantly all-day breakfast menu so I could try their waffles, and was not disappointed in ordering the Cheesy Apple Walnut waffle. It arrived on a no-frills plate, with a pat of vegan butter and maple syrup, but the excitement was hidden inside, with chunks of yummy apple and their in-house Mockstarella cheese distributed evenly throughout. Then I bought two cupcakes to go, the amazingly moist and delicious Red Velvet "Waldorf Astoria" and the S'More cupcake, which was supposed to "taste like camping", but trust me, was way better than smokey weenies!
The next day I ordered probably the best brunch dish ever, the Vegan Monte Cristo! The picture says so much, it's a beautifully presented dish, with two slices of homemade bread hugging yummy grilled tempeh, 'bacon' and their house brand of Swizz cheese, covered in soy butter, syrup and powdered sugar. It's the perfect combo of sweet and savory and I'm drooling at the very thought! It's food so good that you get angry and yell. Can't wait to go back to Iowa City.

Milwaukee Vegan Surprise!

So I know there is probably a lot of interesting vegan fare in parts of Milwaukee, but as I travel with 5 non-vegans in a very large RV, my options are limited to whatever is within walking distance of the venue. We played a lovely place called the Miramarth Theatre on North Oakland Ave which has a cute little 3-block stretch of stores and restaurants. Right across the street from the venue was a Thai place, which I've always thought was a safe bet for decent veg food...boy was I wrong. I've eaten my share of Phad Thai, and I've certainly had mundane or boring versions of this dish, but this place made a totally unrecognizable version, that was so awful we had to walk out, seeking something more edible down the street at Shiraz Persian Grill, hoping for that other no-fail tour meal, falafel. I shared a vegetarian Falafil Platter, which did not disappoint, but needed a little extra to get the bad taste of that awful Thai food out of my palate, so I had the man at the counter ask the kitchen staff if there was any chance the baklava was made with olive oil instead of butter. It WAS!! Vegan baklava makes everything better! It wasn't as good as my homemade stuff made with Earth Balance, but it was made with pistachios, my favourite, and was dirt cheap. Next time I go there I will definitely try their fresh juices as well!